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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More details on the operation

HaAretz has just updated their coverage of the IDF operation in Gaza (which so far has not yet resulted in IDF tanks entering Gaza), and there are some important points that you need to know:

1. Three bridges have now been blown up (from the air).

2. IDF officials said a large military force was ready to enter the Gaza Strip Tuesday night, after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert approved a 'limited ground incursion' in southern Gaza, aimed at the "terrorist infrastructure." The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters. I would be surprised if this incursion is limited to 'southern Gaza.' Most of the Kassam fire - which has continued all week - actually comes from Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya, which are further north.

Some 2,500 Egyptian border guards were deployed in the Rafah area on Monday - the former Philadelphi Route - due to fears that the people who abducted Shalit would try to smuggle him into Egypt, Palestinian sources said. Note also, that those border guards were already deployed yesterday for a different reason: to prevent 'Palestinians' running away from an Israeli invasion from escaping into Egypt.

The sources told Haaretz that according to intelligence information that had reached Egypt, the leaders of Hamas' military wing who are holding Shalit considered smuggling him into the Egyptian part of Rafah through Palestinian tunnels in the area. Note that according to Debka, the reason they want to do that is to get him out of the area altogether. The idea is to increase the freedom of movement for the abductors who fear that Palestinians in Gaza might disclose information about his whereabouts. Now you understand why the 'Palestinians' consider the war on 'collaborators' to be so important.

4. A military intelligence officer told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee today
that there has been ongoing contact between exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshal, currently in Damascus, and the Gaza-based Ahmed Jabri, the Hamas military wing leader behind the attack.

This morning, I suggested that Meshal ought to be targeted. According to HaAretz, I'm not the only one saying that:
Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer told Army Radio on Tuesday that, "They have to understand one thing, that nobody is immune, including [Hamas' Damascus-based leader] Khaled Meshal. Nobody is immune." I take that as a pretty high compliment. Ben Eliezer is a former IDF Chief of Staff.


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